Even as COVID-19 restrictions are lifted around the world, attitudes towards public health have permanently changed. From hand sanitizers to better ventilation, our daily lives have responded to new threats of harmful pathogens. But one object above all others has become symbolic of this new world: the face mask.
Amongst all the issues with face masks, one stands out for us: disposable masks are made with non-biodegradable plastics that end up in landfill or break down into microplastics that pollute our oceans. We throw out three million face masks every minute. And each of those masks takes up to 450 years to decompose.
The solution? The world’s first fully compostable, single use face mask. The Masuku Daily is the result of a collaboration between the design and technology company, Pentatonic, and fashion model and expert, Natalia Vodianova.
The Masuku Daily is made from degradable cellulosic materials. Once used, it will decompose naturally (in your compost, for example) in around two months, claims its website. The earloops are made from 100% natural rubber and weaved with biodegradable yarn.
“Not a single component is made from the type of materials found in other masks,” Johann Boedecker, CEO of Pentatonic states. “Each component has been re-engineered and selected for specific performance criteria and can be broken down naturally for example metabolized by bacteria. The consumer no longer has to choose between protecting themselves and protecting the planet.”
The mask also performs well. A proprietary nano-fiber filtration system keeps out dangerous particles. It’s not just pathogens and new viruses that this mask works against. Masuku also lists allergens and pollution as other particles its masks can protect us from.
A viscose non-woven fabric in the outer layers allows heat and moisture to escape easily, making the mask 40% more breathable than others on the market. It’s also lightweight and soft on the skin – essential when you’re wearing one for up to hours at a time.
Masuku also offers a reusable model, called the Masuku One, which is available in multiple colors (the Daily comes in white). The One is made from recycled materials that can be re-recycled once they’ve worn out. The filter is also replaceable and bio-based, so it can be composted at home.